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TV Review: Scrubs Season 8 Premiere

Scrubs - Season premiere (episodes 1 and 2)

Starring: Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke, Neil Flynn, John C. McGinley, Judy Reyes, Sam Lloyd, Christa Miller, Courtney Cox

Created By: Bill Lawrence

Premieres: Tuesday, January 6, 2009 at 8:00 PM ET on ABC.

My lamentations at the loss of Scrubs earlier in the year when NBC pulled the plug were not because I wanted the show to continue on its merry way of mediocrity. Let’s be honest, the show had lost its zing. As hilarious as I find the show on my many DVD rewatchings, it’s the heart of the staff walking the halls of Sacred Heart that draw me in. Here creator Bill Lawrence and the writers lost their way. Sure, they did hit poignant moments in the show’s last season on NBC. But things went more along the lines of “HEY, HERE’S THE MORAL THIS WEEK DUMMY!”

Now Scrubs has relocated to ABC, for possibly the final season. And what ABC has offered Bill Lawrence is the chance to tell his stories as he wants. Season 8 starts with the new interns, who are unsurprisingly driving J.D. insane. There’s Ed, the guy who we get introduced to as a way to acknowledge the change in networks with Lost chat room discussions. He happens to also have a way with starting new trends, something J.D. just can’t stand. Why can’t he ever start a new hug or trend? “Hell, yeah!” Then there’s Denise (Eliza Coupe) who is a great doctor, but cold hearted bedside bitch. In order to comfort a dying patient, and appease J.D.’s desire to see her connect more, she tells a story of how she took home some chubby and while he was snorting and sweating she felt so bad about herself she head butted him. Knocked the guy out cold. Say what you will, that is a quick and efficient way to end a one night stand. Barney Stinson may want to take a few notes.

The major new cast member this season is Courtney Cox as the new chief, Dr. Maddox. Dr. Maddox walks into Sacred Heart in a fashion similar to a pharmaceutical rep. Rock music playing, wind blowing through her hair, and sexy eyes. J.D. finally admits to the audience that whenever he sees a pretty girl for the first time he imagines her hair blowing in the wind. I can relate. It’s with Dr. Maddox that Dr. Cox takes his altogether too short storyline. Dr. Cox doesn’t appear in the second episode at all, showcasing that they don’t need him to deliver the heartfelt reality messages on the show anymore. J.D. learns them by just being a doctor each day.

While Dr. Maddox is all smiles and happiness, it eventually turns out that Dr. Cox’s suspicions about her are spot on. It’d be hilarious watching these two start to butt heads – heh, more head butting – if it weren’t for his admission that after years of fighting with Kelso he is tired of being “that guy.”

Look, I’m doing my best to avoid spoilers. I understand that Scrubs isn’t a super important OMG I can’t believe you ruined the key that can open everything joke. But if you’re hoping that this next season of Scrubs has any chance of returning to form you’ll be very pleased with the second episode of the season. The entire episode revolves around one patient, and pretty much takes place in his room for the duration. And it’s here, in some truly emotional and fun scenes, that Bill Lawrence reins his show back in. I can’t remember the last time Scrubs made me choke up a little bit, and they once again do it by not shouting out a moral lesson. No, there’s a beautiful simplicity to George’s tale and how J.D. and Turk come to know the man. Because sometimes there is steak night, and the most you can hope for is that whatever you do it’s nice.

Steve West

Staff Writer at CinemaBlend.